Pakistan will be facing Sri Lanka in the 1st T20 of the 3-match series at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi tomorrow after a clean sweep in the ODI series 5-0. Sri Lanka crossed 200 in only two of those matches, and both times they finished lower than 210. With most of their squad refusing to tour Pakistan for the third T20 in Lahore, they will now be playing with an even weaker squad as the selectors have decided to maintain the same team for the entire T20 series in fairness to the players who have put their hands up for the Lahore match. In fact, batting has been the team’s Achilles’ heel in recent times and they have not crossed the 240 mark in the last 12 games. The nine-wicket defeat in the fifth ODI in Sharjah was Sri Lanka’s 12th straight loss. Meanwhile, Pakistan have been all-round impressive till now, while Mohammad Amir returns to the squad for Pakistan, further bolstering an already strong bowling side. Pakistan will be aiming for victory yet again, tomorrow.
Sri Lanka – Preview
With the current squad, Sri Lanka have close to nil hopes of pulling off something spectacular tomorrow. Sri Lanka’s bowling attack is largely the same from the ODI series, comprising Gamage, Vandersay, Prasanna, Fernando, and possibly Isuru Udana. In the batting department, there is a clear lack of performance given that all the batsmen are equally capable of producing runs. Perera has a tough job on his hands as captain, and will be looking forward to get some pride back for the team.
Where Sri Lanka have suffered a massive downgrade in their squad, Pakistan’s team has only become stronger by Amir’s inclusion in the squad. They are most likely to go into the field tomorrow with the rest of the squad unchanged. Babar Azam has been a consistent performer with the bat and Shoaib Malik is another player who will surely be able to make the scoreboard tick faster. As for the rest, this is a good opportunity for Sarfraz Ahmed to show his potential. The captain however, has struggled with the bat throughout the series, and this is the right time for him to capitalise.